Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

July 10, 2013

Looking into the mailbag of a columnist…

By Keith Kappes - Publisher
Journal-Times

July 10, 2013 — I gratefully dedicate this column to all of those gracious readers who have responded to my weekly attempts to express myself.

My adult children like to tease me about being a syndicated columnist since my column is distributed to CNHI newspapers in 23 states, along with the work of many other newspaper journalists.

In all honesty, only a few readers have been less than kind in their comments but someone who has been married 42 years knows how to roll with the punches.

Today I share a few of those good “fan” letters, nearly all which arrived via the magic of electronic mail or “email”.

I wrote about a stormy relationship between a headstrong son and his father who struggled with a drinking problem and how they eventually learned to love each other in spite of each other.

A man from Indiana wrote that the story had touched his heart and he drove several hours to reconcile with his ailing father. They had not spoken for years but neither could remember the reason.

I wrote about a World War II pilot and his sweetheart and their 67-year romance and his struggle to find joy in his life after her death.

A widow from Alabama and another from North Carolina told me that the story had helped them cope with the loss of their husbands, both of whom had been pilots from the same era.

I wrote about a loving woman who had served as a wet nurse when her neighbor died in childbirth, later to be reunited with the man whose life she saved as an infant.

A man from Texas shared an almost identical story from his childhood and how the nursing mother who entered his life had raised him as her own son.

I wrote about childhood adventures on a hilltop in my old neighborhood and how my young pals and I learned to use our imagination to become explorers, soldiers and pioneers.

A man in Ohio said he had enjoyed the same wonderful memories and then revealed that he was a former childhood chum I had not seen in 40 years. We had a joyous online reunion.

I wrote about my silly, teenage misadventures at a church pie supper.

A man in Missouri responded that he had to run for his life after accidentally buying the pie of the girlfriend of the meanest, biggest guy in town.

I invite you to stay tuned for more adventures.